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The Ross School and the Confederation of Indian Industry Sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Honor of C.K. Prahalad

4/1/2011 --

Agreement establishes collaboration between CII's India@75 Initiative and the Ross School's C.K. Prahalad Initiative.

Delhi, India — The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Ross School of Business signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Delhi April 1 confirming their intent to collaborate as strategic partners. The MOU will bring together two very unique efforts. It will support CII's India@75 initiative and the Ross School's C.K. Prahalad Initiative. The MOU was signed by Robert J. Dolan, dean of the Ross School, and Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of CII.

The two organizations will collaborate in planning, facilitating, and implementing experiential learning projects on which Ross students and Ross faculty will work with CII member institutions and strategic partners to advance both the objectives of India@75 and the Ross School’s academic and educational aims.

"CII is looking forward to this partnership," said CII's Banerjee. "C.K. Prahalad inspired the India@75 agenda, which CII took across the country to a large cross-section of society, even reaching out to those beyond business. The result was an agenda that represented universal aspirations of Indians from all walks of life and how they saw their nation in the year 2022, when India completes 75 years of independence.

"Today India@75 is truly a 'people's agenda,'" he continued. "The partnership with the business school and the university where Professor Prahalad made his academic home for so many years is therefore very special. We think the Ross School's C.K. Prahalad Initiative's interest in identifying and understanding next practices aligns well with the desires and needs of the agenda of India@75."

Dean Dolan noted the agreement also would provide new opportunities to strengthen the already robust relationship Ross enjoys with India.

"We have graduated many outstanding Indian students," Dolan said. "We also have sent many students and faculty to work on field projects for outstanding Indian organizations. In addition, we have provided executive education to a number of Indian companies.

"Over the years, we have become acutely aware that relationships work best when the flow of knowledge and ideas is reciprocal," he continued. "That has certainly been the case with our experience in India. So we are extremely pleased to develop this natural affinity between our own C.K. Prahalad Initiative and India@75. We think it is a great foundation from which to advance a global understanding of how innovative next practices can shape the relationship between business and society in many parts of the world."

The Ross School has conducted more than 1,500 action-based learning projects with more than 725 organizations in more than 30 countries. Indian partner organizations include Infosys, Syntel, GVK Industries, and Aravind Eye Care, among others. The projects combine an educational experience for students, research opportunities for faculty, and consulting services for the sponsor.

"Emphasis is on grassroots-level action, and the objective is to bring all the stakeholders in the country together to work toward our dream India," said Rajan Navani, Chairman Mission on India@75, CII. "The partnership with the Ross School will ensure that we create access to global knowledge and practices for many Indians and in turn give an opportunity to the world to learn and adapt next-practice ideas, which are materializing at the bottom of the pyramid in India constantly and rapidly."

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the Ross School will seek to create and disseminate teaching materials arising from the projects on which CII and Ross collaborate. In addition, Ross and CII will seek to co-create activities such as seminars, conferences, and workshops in the United States and India.

About India@75 — People's Agenda

India@75 is a grassroots initiative for realizing the dream of an inclusive, sustainable, and developed India by the year 2022. It is a universal vision for India shared by Indians from all geographies and all walks of life. Professor C.K. Prahalad (1941-2010), was the inspirational force behind the India@75 initiative.

Some of the key vision elements for 2022 of the India@75 — People's Agenda are:

• 500 million skilled people, 200 million college graduates, and universal literacy

• India ranks among the 10 least corrupt nations in the world

• India has a renewal of agriculture to reach world-class productivity levels

• India accounts for 10 percent of global trade

• India becomes the home for at least 30 of the Fortune 100 firms

• India focuses on the bottom of the pyramid as a source of innovation for the world

• India creates leaders in health, education, energy, transportation, and sustainable development

• India has a flowering of arts, science, sports, and literature

• India has 500 world-class cities through planned urbanization

About the C.K. Prahalad Initiative

Named after one of the world's most influential management thinkers, the C.K. Prahalad Initiative brings together the resources of the Ross School to pursue fundamental questions about the role of business in global society and how innovation can shape the relationship between profit generation and social value creation.

The C.K. Prahalad Initiative operates in a spirit driven by the following three questions:

• What is the prevailing thinking preventing us from seeing and asking?

• How can the benefits of growth and value creation be made more inclusive?

• What are the innovations and next practices that might transform an organization or an industry?

The C.K. Prahalad Initiative adopts this point of view as a starting point in developing opportunities for Ross students and faculty to partner with organizations around the world as part of the Ross School’s commitment to leading in thought and action.

Prahalad’s daughter Deepa said, "As a family, we feel the life and work of C.K. Prahalad was about innovation and building bridges between theory and practice. Despite the tremendous loss, we are gratified to see that the challenges he addressed and his approach to scholarship continue to inspire students, business leaders, and the social sector. We hope this initiative will continue his legacy by bringing the best minds together from a variety of disciplines to innovate around global solutions. Just as importantly, the findings will be shared widely to benefit the largest possible audience — another key component of his work. It is fitting that this global effort is beginning with a collaboration between the Ross School and CII — two organizations that we enjoy very long and fruitful relationships with."

About CII

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is a nongovernment, nonprofit, industry-led, and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India's development process. Founded more than 115 years ago, it is India's premier business association, with a direct membership of more than 8,100 organizations from the private and public sectors and an indirect membership of more than 90,000 companies from some 400 national and regional sectoral associations.

CII catalyzes change by working closely with government on policy issues and expanding business opportunities for industry through a range of specialized services and global linkages. Major emphasis is laid on assisting industry to identify and execute corporate citizenship programs. Partnerships with more than 120 NGOs across the country carry forward its initiatives in integrated and inclusive development, which include health, education, livelihood, diversity management, skill development, and environment, to name a few.

CII serves as a reference point for Indian industry and the international business community. It counts 64 offices and seven centers of excellence in India, as well as seven overseas offices in Australia, China, France, Singapore, South Africa, the U.K., and the U.S. CII has institutional partnerships with 223 counterpart organizations in 90 countries.

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 647-1847,